They say humans always learn and, as long as we are alive, we don’t stop learning. They also say we have to learn new things and unlearn some things as we grow.
However, there is certain knowledge that will be extremely difficult to unlearn, no matter what evidence is brought to dispute.
What do you call someone who doesn’t learn from his/her mistakes? There are several words for people who do the same thing over and over again without seeing what they are doing wrong. This unusual refusal to learn can be caused by various traits including stubbornness, indifference, and self-absorption.
A word you can call someone who is refusing to learn is Obdurate. This refers to the person’s stubbornness to hear others or take their word for it. An obdurate person does what he/she wants and is difficult to convince.
15 Words for Someone who never learns from his/her mistakes
For a person who never learns from his/her mistakes, we have 15 adjectives to qualify him/her. While not all characteristics may be found in such a person, he/she will bear one of these.
- Excuse maker
Recalcitrant is the adjective to qualify a person who is too stubborn to comply with the rules. A recalcitrant person can show his/her stubbornness when asked to make certain changes.
A recalcitrant person can refuse to admit to his/her wrongs and will not learn from the mistakes. Therefore, he/she may continue to make the same mistakes over and over again without learning from them.
Someone who doesn’t learn from a past mistake may be recalcitrant. However, he/she may also not be a recalcitrant person all for this reason. There are many other qualities that can hinder a person from seeing his/her mistakes.
- I detest that recalcitrant attitude. You never admit your mistakes.
Adamancy is another word for stubbornness and stubbornness is a feature that can make a person difficult to deal with.
A stubborn person will find it hard to learn from a mistake, often because the person has ideas that he/she won’t let go of or because he/she is fixated on a goal and can’t see another way.
A person can be adamant for several reasons but adamancy is one major characteristic that will be found in every person that doesn’t learn from his/her mistakes.
Adamant is the adjective for a person who is too stubborn to see what he/she is doing wrong. An adamant person will refuse to listen to any idea that contradicts his/her own. An adamant person will refuse to comply to a rule if it contradicts what he/she is willing to do.
An adamant person will also refuse to make changes unless he/she sees his/her mistake. An adamant person will refuse to be told his/her mistake unless he/she realizes it.
- Why are you so adamant after failing for the fourth time?
Incorrigibility refers to the rigidness of something in terms of the possibility to be corrected. This may be the best word to use for someone who doesn’t learn from his/her mistake.
The idea of being incorrigible suggests that the person will NEVER learn from his/her mistakes. Also, incorrigibility suggests that something or someone cannot be changed in any way.
For example, we have certain beliefs that cannot be changed irrespective of how well the arguments are.
Incorrigible is the adjective for a person who will never learn from his/her mistakes. An incorrigible person cannot be corrected.
An incorrigible person is fixed on his/her ideas and cannot be convinced by anything or anyone. An incorrigible person will keep doing the same thing with Pollyannaish courage, irrespective of how many times he/she fails.
This is the best word to use for a person who doesn’t learn from his/her mistakes if you believe he/she cannot be made to change.
- You are so incorrigible. That strategy obviously never works.
Here is another characteristic that is common to people who don’t learn from their mistakes. However, this characteristic doesn’t apply in all cases. Narcissism is the idea that one’s ideas are better than others.
This idea can make a person unable to see his/her wrongdoings. This can also make the person an excuse-maker.
Narcissistic is the right word for a person who doesn’t learn from his/her mistakes and refuses to consider the ideas of others in changing.
A narcissistic person believes he already has the right ideas. A narcissistic person believes he/she is better than everyone and will be difficult to be corrected by anyone.
A narcissistic person finds other things to blame rather than seeing what is wrong with his/her ideas.
Narcissistic persons believe themselves and their ideas too important.
- Narcissistic guys like you make the same mistakes
This is another reason a person may not learn from his/her mistakes. It is not always because he/she doesn’t want to admit to making a mistake. He/she may not learn from a mistake if he/she can’t see the mistake.
Also, he/she would most likely not see the mistake if he/she is too eager to move. Hyperactivity makes a person do things eagerly, impatiently, and impulsively. This prevents a person from seeing his/her mistakes.
Hyperactive may qualify a person who doesn’t learn from his/her mistakes, especially if he/she is eager to jump into action and too impatient to see obvious errors.
A hyperactive person will be impatient and may be quite inattentive. While it may seem like he/she is stubborn, a hyperactive person is simply impatient and will most likely forget warnings.
Even when a hyperactive person learns from his/her mistake or decides to hear you out, he/she will probably forget everything once in action.
- He is hyperactive so expect him to do the same thing.
You may consider a person unwilling or too stubborn to learn of a mistake while it really isn’t a mistake but an idea you don’t believe in. We live in a world of multiple ideas that often contrast.
When a person believes so much in his/her idea, it will be difficult for you to convince him/her to go against it. While some failures may make it easier to convince the person, it would mean nothing if he/she was expecting to fail a few times.
We all have certain beliefs which we believe must be upheld irrespective of how many times they fail.
Dogged is the word for someone who won’t learn from a mistake but rather believes in his steps, expects failure, and decides to continue till there’s success. You can also call this person deluded if his/her belief is clearly not making sense.
A dogged person will persevere with every challenge. A dogged person will rise again after a fall. A dogged person cannot be convinced by his/her failures in a path that he/she believes in.
A dogged person doesn’t see his belief as a mistake and will never consider changing. To change this person, you have to look outside his/her mistakes. Bring in a new belief instead of criticizing the old.
- That’s dogged of you but you’re too blind to see what’s wrong here.
If you think a person is necessarily narcissistic for not learning from his/her mistakes, think again. If you also think it’s always pride, you should reconsider.
One common characteristic in all persons who don’t learn from their mistakes is stubbornness. Nonchalance is a feature that is not very common but it has to be backed by stubbornness if a nonchalant person isn’t taking correction.
Nonchalance is an adjective that may qualify a person who never learns from his/her mistakes, especially since the person doesn’t care about what he/she is doing or what the results are.
A nonchalant person cannot be deterred by failure because he/she wasn’t even considering success. However, a nonchalant person can make a change with his/her carefree attitude but laziness or stubbornness can make him/her difficult to convince.
A nonchalant person doesn’t care about the mistake you are pointing out. He/she doesn’t care about changing and will most likely not do so if he/she is lazy or just stubborn to do what he/she doesn’t care about.
- He is nonchalant so he doesn’t care if it affects us.
You can also call the person a ‘Blame shifter’. Both phrases are very clear to understand. A person who doesn’t learn from his/her mistakes may not be proud or narcissistic. However, shifting of blame is a feature of narcissistic and proud people.
Shifting of blame can be a characteristic of a hyperactive person who doesn’t want to appear stupid for his/her mistakes. Shifting of blame can also be a characteristic of a stubborn person who doesn’t want to seem stubborn.
Excuse Maker is a name you can give to someone who never learns from his/her mistakes but will always have something to say.
An Excuse Maker can give excuses for his/her failures. An excuse maker can give excuses for not being able to change his/her strategy. An Excuse Maker can also shift blame to people around him/her for his/her own mistakes.
An excuse maker simply makes up reasons not to learn from a mistake.
- Such an excuse-maker. You have no reason to continue.
Headstrong is another word for an adamant person. It refers to a person’s stubbornness. A person who refuses to hear about his/her mistakes may just want to focus on what he/she is doing.
While stubbornness can have several underlying reasons, stubbornness is the major reason a person will refuse to hear others out or see what is obvious.
Headstrong is an adjective that qualifies all persons who never learn from their mistakes. Any justification for the person’s actions will only serve as a reason or excuse for being headstrong.
Headstrong implies that a person is fixed on something and can’t be convinced or changed by anyone.
A headstrong person is simply determined to do something in a certain way and refuses to change.
- You are headstrong. You never listen.
This is another word for a narcissistic person. A person with an inflated sense of self-importance will find it difficult to see his/her mistakes.
This is the kind of person who blames others for his/her own mistakes or expects others to worship him/her.
Egotistic is an adjective that may qualify someone who never learns from his/her mistakes. An egotistic person believes himself or herself to be better than everyone else and right all the time. This makes it impossible to convince an egotistic person of his/her wrongdoings.
An egotistic person may see his/her mistake but can refuse to change due to pride and unwillingness to seem weak to others.
- That’s egotistic of you. No one knows it all.
Here is another word for a Hyperactive person. When a person is overzealous, he/she may find it hard to see mistakes, not to talk of learning from them.
This kind of person is excited, dogged, and impatient, making it easy for him/her to make mistakes that should have been obvious and prevented.
Overzealous may be a quality of someone who doesn’t learn from mistakes if he/she is impatient and forgetful.
An overzealous person will make preventable mistakes. An overzealous person may also be too impatient to see what the mistakes are.
The impatience of an overzealous person will make him/her continue doing the same thing over and over again without waiting to check if something is wrong.
- You’re too overzealous to see what you’re doing wrongly.
Carefree is the word for a nonchalant person. A person who is indifferent towards action and its results will see certain mistakes but won’t care about making them again and again. This quality is often supported by laziness and unwillingness to listen to others.
Carefree may refer to a person who doesn’t learn from mistakes due to his/her indifference towards the situation. A carefree person doesn’t see a reason to change his/her ways and, lazily or stubbornly, will not.
Changing a carefree person may require exciting him/her or giving him/her a reason to care.
- He is carefree about it so let him keep failing.
A justifier is an Excuse Maker. This is a person who gives reasons for an action. While this feature isn’t necessary for someone who doesn’t learn from his/her mistakes, it is a feature you will most likely find in a stubborn person who doesn’t want to seem stubborn.
Justifier is a name you can give to a person who gives reasons not to learn from a mistake. This is a person who makes excuses for a mistake.
A justifier may also see a mistake but give a good reason to keep doing the same thing.
A justifier is one who stubbornly does something and may be difficult to change or even understand unless you know the real reason behind his/her adamancy.
- Don’t be a justifier. Just change.
This is the word for someone who does things contrarily to others and is difficult to convince otherwise. This is the kind of person who won’t submit to the rules and will not be convinced to by anything or anyone.
Refractory is an adjective for a person who is too stubborn to learn from his/her mistakes. A refractory person does things differently from others. He/she isn’t convinced by the people around him and, therefore, will be impossible or difficult to change.
A refractory person either has a reason to be stubborn or is narcissistic or conceited.
- He is so refractory. Just leave him be.
Conceited is another word for someone who clearly believes his/her opinions are better than yours. This characteristic makes it impossible for you to correct such a person. Also, this person will do things contrarily to others if he has a different opinion or idea.
Conceited is an adjective for a person who is proud of himself or herself and will not admit to a mistake. A conceited person hardly sees his mistake and will definitely not change.
A conceited person can only be convinced to change when he/she stops believing in his/her perfection.
- That conceited fellow thinks he knows it best but he’s lagging behind.
People should always learn from their mistakes but stubbornness is a common characteristic that prevents people from learning.
Other characteristics that support stubbornness include Narcissism, Indifference, Delusion, etc.